Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Words have POWER

First I need to start with the fact that I spent the day minding my own business. Just like the water. I even redirected a student to the person who could and should help her. The person who has the power to address the issue.

Oh the fun thing for today...I was interviewed by a group of five year olds. Along with knowing about my job and what I do to uplift my community they also know my favorite color is purple, I lived on an island growing up, I love shoe shopping and my dog's name is Maya. It was a very nice change of pace for my week. They are using the information to write a poem. I'll be sure to share the poem. I'm a little nervous.

Now on to today's topic....

Yesterday, I was sitting in a meeting in front of an English professor. She asked the speaker to answer a question on a word the speaker had used. The professor admitted that her question might be a matter of semantics but she needed to make sure there wasn't any subtext. Meanwhile, I'm thinking..."because words have power". 

One of the things I've been doing for years is training folks with disabilities and/or training folks to work with people with disabilities. As I move my soap box into place, let me tell you, I just cringe inside when I hear certain words in reference to disabilities. Some of them are as hurtful to me as a racial slur. Suffer, Afflicted, Arthritic, and Patient are four of my least favorite words. My doctor is over across town. I see him maybe three times a year. Him and his nurse are the only people who can call me a patient just because I have an autoimmune disorder. I'm a woman. A dog owner. An educator. A bad singer (who sings ALL the time). A clown. A blogger (as of this week). Some days a Princess even but not a patient! Unless, of course, you happen to catch me in a robe with my butt hanging out.

I'm also not afflicted with anything. I have an autoimmune disorder. If you don't know why that one is offense, here's a quick definition: "To inflict grievous physical or mental suffering on".  Most days I'm not "suffering".  In fact if you catch me "suffering" it's more so because I'm spoiled, I like getting my way, and I might be a little over dramatic. Let me miss a meal and I'll be sure to tell you I'm suffering and blame you if you are between me and my next meal. As a person with arthritis I have good days and bad days and to imply I'm suffering negates all the wonderful things in my life. All the wonderful ways that I would much rather describe myself. This week I'm going with Rock Star!


  1. Hi Stacia!
    Love your outlook! I try to keep what I write about in living with Ankylosing Spondylitis positive but sometimes I feel a need to share something that is not pretty. I find that for some talking about the really horrible aspects of the disease is personally healing and helpful for people in the early stages of grief after being diagnosed. I think there is a place for many ways to discuss so many topics about life.
    Bloggers speaking about any type of chronic illness have to find their own voice in the lexicon. I look forward to hearing what you say and value your perspective - I hope you keep speaking up!
    Best, Jenna